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Question on Remicade and marijuana use

I've been on Revelex or Remicade for about 2 years now. I am 16 years old and have crohns disease . I do not know anything about the veins but I was wondering if anyone had any information about the use of cannabis and Remicade. My gastroenterologist said that I may not drink as my liver is already under stress due to the Remicade and he said smoking would make the Remicade stop working but I think he meant cigarettes. I enjoy smoking weed for recreational use with my friends and South Africa has not legalized it yet :( but I was wondering if smoking cannabis while on Remicade actually stop the Remicade from working.
Thanks
 

DJW

Forum Monitor
Hi and welcome.

I'm afraid I don't know but glad to see you're looking into it first.
 

DJW

Forum Monitor
I was warned st the infusion clinic was to be careful with what I ingested because of potential interactions. It wasn't specific but remicade is a pretty serious medication that, as the drug class states, is a biological drug. I don't know if those known risks would increase with marijuana.
 
I wasn't aware that Remicade stressed the liver. I'm on Humira and haven't avoided alcohol. I hope you get some good info!
 
I read somewhere that weed is actually a TNFalpha inhibitor, just like remicade so if anything it should actually help crohn's patients! :dusty:
 
I recently started Remicade and my GI doc said it was fine to drink alcohol. She also had no problem if I wanted to pursue a medical marijuana card (though doesn't issue them herself).
 
I would like to ask my GI doc but I am to scared to as I am a minor still and also because marijuana isn't legalized in the country I live in I'm sure he will tell me not to smoke due to that fact ?
 

mvond5

Banned
If you are on facebook.. marijuana/cannabis awareness search for this page. You will need to request friendship. But I'm thinking this would be a good start for your question.
 
I would like to ask my GI doc but I am to scared to as I am a minor still and also because marijuana isn't legalized in the country I live in I'm sure he will tell me not to smoke due to that fact ?
I might be overly optimistic, but I would expect a lot of doctors to respond well if you were to go in there proactively asking for a rational discussion of the science behind the pros and cons of marijuana use. You could also just keep it focused on the specific question of interaction with your meds. Most docs are more concerned with "harm reduction" rather than the strict legality. A lot of docs working with teens realize there are issues like substance use, birth control, etc. that aren't always easy to talk about with family and are open to being a source to consult on that stuff. If you're concerned about confidentiality from your folks, you could clarify first that you have a sensitive question and want to know what happens to information that you share (e.g., do your folks have access to your file, will your question be noted in your chart, etc.)
 

Tesscorm

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with syzygy. My son was diagnosed at 16 and I knew he would find himself in situations where alcohol and drugs were involved. If he was going to be tempted to try them, I thought it was important that he have 'real' information and not only have info influenced by my preference/worry. At one of our apptmts, I specifically asked the doctor to speak to him about drugs and alcohol and their impact on crohns and interactions with meds and I left the room so that they could speak openly.

No doubt your doctor will likely discourage the use of both as alcohol can be inflammatory (I'm fairly sure??) and marijuana is illegal and may give you his opinion of what he thinks, however, I don't believe he will withhold medical information re interactions, etc. And, unless there are some unusual circumstances, I do believe your request for privacy in this type of conversation will be respected.

FWIW, while I don't know the outcome of my son's conversation re drugs, I do know his GI said some alcohol, within reason, should be okay. I know my son has had alcohol and it doesn't seem to have an affect on him (BTW, he is also on remicade).

One thing I have stressed to my son is that I do believe he should be much more conscious of what he's putting into his body simply because of the remicade and, even more conscious of it immediately before/after infusions as that's when I imagine the concentration of remicade in your body would be highest.

:ghug:
 
Thanks tesscorm, I appreciate it and the last time I was at the GI for my infusion my dad also spoke to the doc and asked him to talk to me about alcohol and smoking and the effects as he also wanted to know the effects and the doc said that alcohol is not good for Remicade as Remicade already puts stress on my liver and alcohol puts even more stress and he said smoking can stop it from working but I think he was talking about tobacco but next time I'm there I will ask about cannabis because every teen will encounter these situations and I enjoy it but would like to be sure it doesn't mess up my meds
 

Tesscorm

Moderator
Staff member
I think you're right in asking. I've always encouraged my son to discuss these issues honestly with his doctor as his doctor needs to know what he's dealing with to treat appropriately. Your doctor should not be there to judge you - he may certainly share his opinion based on the knowledge/experience he has but, I don't think most doctors will 'judge' their patients. :) (At least I hope not!! :lol:)
 
Thanks will ask my doc at next appointment if anyone has any information about the reaction Remicade has with marijuana please post but thanks for all the help 👍👍
 
I know that since i have been on remicade any time i have had 2 beers or more I really feel the effects of the alcohol(like i had drank more). So i avoid alcohol after being on remicade. As for marijuana, that has been my substitute. I vape 1-2 times on the weekend. By the way, this is not me encouraging, just sharing my experiences. I have had some high liver test over the past 4-5 months, i had posted on this yesterday. (remicade, high liver) It is just my indirect bilirubin that is high, nothing else. I will eliminate the MJ to see if my levels go down on my next test. I cant blame this on the MJ, because i am not sure it is that, in fact i really doubt it. I cant find anything that definitively says MJ in moderation raises liver enzymes. But i will eliminate it to be sure. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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